Sunday, July 6, 2008
“Buffett once told me there are three ‘I’s in every cycle”
But it would be a mistake to dismiss Mr. Forstmann's pessimism too quickly. After all, he knows something about both credit and crises. "You've got [Treasury Secretary Henry] Paulson saying 'Oh, you see the good news is it's over.'" The problem, according to Mr. Forstmann, is that it's far from over. "I think we're in about the second inning of this." "Buffett once told me there are three 'I's in every cycle. The 'innovator,' that's the first 'I.' After the innovator comes the 'imitator.' And after the imitator in the cycle comes the idiot. Which makes way for an innovator again." So when Mr. Forstmann says we're at the end of an era, it's another way of saying that he's afraid that the idiots have made their entrance.